Monday, January 26, 2015

Movie Monday: The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon
When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.

I read Dashiell Hammett's detective novel, The Maltese Falcon, this past April. The book proved a nice break from the seemingly endless train of British period novels on the Modern Library list. It was a ground breaking novel, though it still has ended up largely in the shadow of its film adaptation from 1941.

The black-and-white movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor and basically founded the film noir genre. Now, I haven't seen a whole lot of film noir in my life, so I can't speak much to its legacy there. I can only speak to its representation of the novel.

The film stays very true to the book. Honestly, as I was watching, I didn't even right anything down (as I typically do when I'm watching these movies). Everything about the movie rang true to my experience with the book. The characters are unlikable and the story is a bit confusing. Still, it's not bad. It's a classic. That's the best way I can describe it.
It did feel a bit choppy at times, but so did the novel. Watching the story unfold visually did help me with some of my confusion about the sequence of events, so I appreciated that. 

I would be very interested in seeing a modern remake of this. I know, I know. Don't mess with a classic. But, still, I think it would be interesting to see a modern director's interpretation of the story and the characters.

Have you seen The Maltese Falcon? Read the book? What do you think?

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